1.8 "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"

"The economic paradigm which makes this true depends upon scarcity of resources. Software resources are only scarce because we all keep software proprietary and secret. But not Linux! When I give you my software, it may create an opportunity cost for me, but I get to keep it even after I've given it to you. It is a free lunch only rivaled in history by the loaves and the fishes." (Brett Bazant <bbazant@shaw.wave.ca> (http://linuxtoday.com/cgi-bin/showtb.pl?tbsn=12450&sn=5418).

And here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson explaining, in the year 1813, that intellectual property (IP) does not exists. There is only a limited monopoly to profit for the author, which is society-given on the conditions that the monopoly strikes the balance for the common benefit:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody." ["The Writings of Thomas Jefferson". Edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh. 20 vols. Washington, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1905. Quoted after: "The Founders' Constitution" Volume 3, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, Document 12, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html, The University of Chicago Press.]



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